Interview with Jennifer S. Alderson, Author of Collecting Can Be Murder

08 Jun 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Collecting Can Be Murder?

After finishing book nine of my second mystery series, I decided to try and start writing a new art-focused mystery series that would be, qua setting and feel, a mashup of Antiques Roadshow and the Thomas Crown Affair. The idea of combining those high- and low-brow worlds fascinated me!

The lead character, Carmen De Luca, is an art sleuth who hunts down priceless objects stolen from media-shy owners and cultural organizations located around the world. Her employer, The Rosewood Agency, is a private organization funded by a reclusive billionaire who encourages his operatives to do whatever is necessary to complete their assignment – even if it means breaking a few laws along the way. However, Carmen is not allowed to use weapons, but instead has to rely on her wits, black belt in martial arts, and a bottle of chloroform to get the job done.

I’m a trained art historian and love to create plotlines that revolve around the arts or cultural experiences. My first series of four art thrillers are faster-paced and heavy on history. With this one, I wanted to keep the tone lighter, and the mysteries a bit sillier. So far, reviewers really seem to appreciate the witty heroine and complex storylines, which is a relief!

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Collecting Can Be Murder, what would they be?

“Don’t Stop (thinking about tomorrow)” by Fleetwood Mac is Carmen’s anthem in life. At the beginning of this series, she’s working through several personal crises and is feeling lost. However, she refuses to give in to her depression but instead chooses to keep looking forward, which is why she steps out of retirement to help her former partner recover an illuminated manuscript from an eccentric collector in France.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

Traditional and cozy mysteries, which are also the genres I write in!

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

“Hidden Agemda” by Leighann Dobbs, “Killers of a Certain Age” by Deanna Raybourn, and “Murder in Tuscany” by T.A. Williams.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The first scene because it was so much fun to write, and it was the first time Carmen and the rest of this new cast of characters really came to life for me!

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I write my initial draft in longhand, and in a very specific sort of notebook you can only buy at one store here in the Netherlands. It’s the perfect size for my purse, and thickness for my wrist. I’ve tried writing behind a desktop, laptop, and even iPad, but the words don’t flow as easily without that pen in my hand!

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Life is an adventure and it’s what’s happening along the way that counts – not the final destination. I find it inspiring to try new experiences, sample different cuisines, and travel to other countries.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I hope they are entertained by the story and remember the characters with a certain level of fondness.


Jennifer S. Alderson is the author of the new book Collecting Can Be Murder

Connect with Jennifer S. Alderson

Author Site



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